Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. is concerned that the euro zone’s economy “is slipping back into recession as austerity policies take effect.”
The top U.S. diplomat said yesterday that France and Germany are “beginning to show signs of slowdown” and “it’s vital to the entire global economy that European leaders move toward policies that promote credible and sustainable growth and create jobs.”
Clinton, speaking about the U.S.-European partnership at the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy institute, said it isn’t the role of the U.S. “to dictate any answer” for the 17 euro zone nations to resolve their economic troubles.
“I want to urge European leaders to keep working to address the challenge of economic growth and jobs,” she said.
Clinton praised the European Central Bank for pledging to stand behind governments implementing financial reforms, reducing borrowing costs for those countries. She lauded Greece for taking “an important step by passing a budget and reform package that makes tough tradeoffs,” and the IMF and European governments for agreeing on measures to reduce Greece’s debt burden.
Clinton also said she will be making her 38th trip to Europe as secretary of state next week. In Prague, she said she will discuss efforts to promote Czech energy independence and advance human rights and democracy. In Brussels, she will attend a NATO meeting and discuss shared security challenges, including winding down the war in Afghanistan.
In Dublin, at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, she will discuss security, democracy and human rights across Europe and Eurasia, she said. In Belfast, she said she will reiterate the U.S. commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland.
Russia remains one of the biggest challenges the U.S. and Europe face together, she said.
“The reality is we have serious and continuing differences on Syria, missile defense, NATO enlargement, human rights and other issues,” Clinton said. “It will be up to us and our European partners to continue looking for opportunities to engage with Russia and make progress on the issues that matter to us.”
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